The Adoxaceae is a small family of flowering plants in the order Dipsacales, as now constituted comprising four genera and about 150-200 species. It is characterised by opposite toothed leaves, small five- or, more rarely, four-petalled flowers in cymose inflorescences, and the fruit being a drupe. They are thus similar to many Cornaceae.
In older classifications this entire family was part of Caprifoliaceae (the honeysuckle family). Adoxa moschatellina (Moschatel) was the first plant to be moved to this new group. Much later, the genera Sambucus (elders) and Viburnum were added after careful morphological analysis of biochemical tests by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. An additional monotypic genus Sinadoxa has been added based on molecular comparison with Adoxa.
Adoxa is a small perennial herbaceous plant, flowering early in the spring and dying down to ground level in summer immediately after the berries are mature; the leaves are compound.
The elders are mostly shrubs, but two species are large herbaceous plants; all have compound leaves. The viburnums are all shrubs, with simple leaves.
Viburnum davidii foliage and fruit
Sambucus racemosa flowers
Sambucus nigra flowers
Sambucus canadensis foliage and fruit
Media related to Adoxaceae at Wikimedia Commons
The Family Adoxaceae is further organized into finer groupings including:
- Genus (6): Adoxa · Moschatellina · Sambucus · Sinadoxa · Tetradoxa · Viburnum
- Species: ZipcodeZoo has pages for 1,290 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in the Family Adoxaceae.
Adoxa moschatellina (Moschatel, Five-faced Bishop, Hollowroot, Muskroot, Townhall Clock, Tuberous Crowfoot) is the sole member of the genus Adoxa. It grows in hedgerows throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, in cool forests, at low altitudes in the far north, to high altitudes in mountains in the south of its range. The flowers, and plant, has a musk-like scent, which it emits towards evening when the dew falls. If the plant is bruised this scent disappears. It flowers in April and May (Europe). [more]
Sinadoxa corydalifolia is the only species of plant in genus Sinadoxa, in the Adoxaceae family. It is endemic to the Hengduan region of China. [more]
Tetradoxa is a genus of in family Adoxaceae. It contains the following species (but this list may be incomplete): [more]
Viburnum is a genus of about 150?175 species of shrubs or (in a few species) small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. Its current classification is based on molecular phylogeny. It was previously included in the family Caprifoliaceae. [more]
At least 834 species and subspecies belong to the Genus Viburnum.
More info about the Genus Viburnum may be found here.
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